19. December 2005

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Barrandov Studios has announced that its owners have approved plans to build new stages to handle increasing demand at the Prague studios. Work is expected to begin in the spring and will cost roughly $4.2m (3.5m Euros). The new complex will include several soundproof studios, one of which will be completed in 2006. Other technical parameters and the final number of stages will be determined at a meeting of Barrandov's board in January 2006. The new studio space will not be completed in time to host Casino Royale, which is scheduled to complete shooting at Barrandov in the summer. Barrandov had announced plans to build more stages as early as March 2003, when then marketing director Matous Forbelsky told Screendaily.com that a new 4,000 square meter stage was in the works. While plans for expansion have never been completely off the books, Barrandov spokeswoman Dusana Chrenekova said the new space has finally received the approval of the board of trustees. "There is great interest in the studios at Barrandov," board president Tomas Chrenek said in a news release. "Increasing the studio space raises our ability to accommodate more foreign productions." Studio space throughout Prague is reportedly booked solid at present. Tomas Krejci, general manager at Prague Studios welcomed the news. Prague Studios has also sought to expand to fill the need for more stages. "This is very good news for all of us here in Prague," Krejci told Screendaily.com. "Prague does need more capacity. By increasing capacity we can attract more business." Stillking Films often works with Barrandov Studios on international productions. "The prospect of offering new stages at Barrandov Studios to our clients is definitely great news and we are very excited about it," said David Minkowski, head of the film department at Stillking Films. "It surely is one of the steps to bring more international projects [to the Czech Republic]" Barrandov Studios announced before-tax profits last year of $2.3m in a market worth $23.8m. Recently the studios have hosted such productions as Omen 666 and Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask.